BOWDEN — Mayor Robb Stuart says he’s “70 per cent” sure he’ll run for his job again.
Robb Stuart made that statement during a year-end interview.
When asked if he’ll run for mayor again this year, he said, “probably, but I’m not 100 per cent sure yet.”
"As of this moment, I’m probably 70 per cent (certain) that I will run again,” he said, adding he’ll likely make his mind up next in August or September.
This year’s municipal election takes place Oct. 18.
There are seven seats on Bowden council. One for the mayor and six councillors’ seats.
Nominations for mayor or councillors can be filed from now until Sept. 20, 2021, according to the Alberta government’s municipal elections website.
"I’ll think about it some more,” Stuart said. “There’s no point in putting in nomination papers and then withdrawing them, is my thought.”
Stuart is finishing his second straight term as Bowden’s mayor.
He was first elected as mayor in 2010 and obtained a second term after defeating former councillor Earl Wilson for the job in 2017.
Prior to that, Stuart served as a town councillor for six years.
It was observed that if he’s thinking of running again, Stuart must like the job.
“It has its ups and downs, no doubt about it,” he said with a laugh.
Stuart said he likes meeting and dealing with people – including other politicians.
“I can meet with (newly-appointed Municipal Affairs Minister) Ric McIver or even (Premier) Jason Kenney now and he knows me. Like, ‘Hi Robb, how are you,’ because I’ve been doing it for so many years,” Stuart said.
"To me, that’s important for your community, is to have that recognition. Sometimes it works.”
Stuart also notes he grew up in Bowden and thus has an interest in seeing it grow and improve.
However, he said not all aspects of the job are fun.
Debates in council can be challenging. He cited council’s debate over the town’s new logo as an example.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really thrilled about our (new) logo, the Bowden with the arrow. But I like it now,” he said.
“I’m not taking credit for that. That was council that did that and I think it did work out well in the long run. But I just wasn't used to the change, right?”
“You’ve got to convince the rest of council that your idea is the best idea, he added. “You’re one vote at council. Everybody points the finger at the mayor -- and that goes with the job.
"I’m not whining about it -- it’s just that you’re one vote on council.”
The key is to accept the tough stuff and admit when you’ve made a mistake, he said.
“You have to be accountable, right? That’s my big thing. And try not to shirk the duties, either though. Like, if you make a mistake, stand up and say, ‘yeah, I screwed up,’” he said.
Stuart said he’s hopeful several people will run for each position -- mayor and councillor this year.
“I hear people are thinking of running here, so hopefully we’ll get more people running, because I hate acclamation, to be honest,” he said.
“People should have a choice. If they don’t like what I’ve done then let them vote for somebody else.”